According to an Ahrefs report, around 90.63% of the content available online gets no traffic whatsoever. The volume of content you can find online is growing with each year because, well, marketers and business owners have been repeatedly told that content is king and that high-quality content is one of the best ways to increase organic traffic to your website.
Because search engines really love content. Websites with a lot of quality content rank higher on the search engine result pages because they likely have more to offer users. But given that only around 10% of all content actually generates traffic, there are some pressing questions that need answering.
Is content not that important? Have we been lied to? Not at all. But there’s something to be said about some things people get wrong about content:
- Having no backlinks
- Not having evergreen content
- Not matching user intent
- Having broken links
- The page itself is not indexed
Just having a lot of content will not improve page Search Engine Optimisation and get you into the result page. Just like having a website doesn’t guarantee you’ll sell more of your products or services just because you technically have a wider audience. Creating content to rank highly on the SERP takes a bit more effort.
Here are some great strategies to write blogs or content that actually rank:
1. Think of Topics People Want to Read
The first thing you need to do when creating content is figuring out what your potential customers want to read about – or, more specifically, what they search for on Google.
Google takes search queries and matches them with relevant content. If a user types in “what’s the best way to get rid of mould”, then the search engine crawler scans the web of pages that match that query.
Relevant content is the kind that answers the potential audience’s most burning questions. And sure enough, if you’re a trendsetter in your industry you can often propose the topic and angle in which to discuss it, but if you’re trying to get on the top page of the SERP you’re not to that level yet.
So for now, you need to look at the trends of your industry and create high-quality content for it. A good way to identify some good topics is by using Google Trends. With it, you can search for industry keywords and see their search volume, as well as any related topics which may suggest another trend on the rise.
Or, you can also:
- See what’s trending on social media
- Visit forums or question-and-answer websites like Quora
- Ask your existing customers what kind of topic they’d like to see from you
- Look at what your competitors are posting, and think of how you can improve on their strategy.
2. Leverage Valuable Keywords
Keywords set the state for your content marketing strategy. It’s not just that you can identify topics or angles from these keywords – these keywords need to be present in the content as well.
For this purpose, you should conduct keyword research to identify what and how people are searching for certain topics. It pays to have a combination of multiple types of keywords, including:
- Seed keywords
- Location keywords
- Long-tail keywords
- Phrase keywords
Short, seed keywords like marketing, insurance, automotive, and other general terms often bring a lot of value to the table, but they are also highly competitive since everyone is using them. So don’t put all your eggs in the seed keyword’s basket.
Users don’t really use these terms in their search queries anyway. They are much more likely to type as much information as they can in the search engine bar to ensure Google provides an accurate result.
So instead of typing “marketing,” they will more likely type something like “best SEO tips of beginners” or even sentences like “what is the best way to promote your business online?” If you can find long-tail keywords and leverage them in your content, you’ll likely be one step ahead of a lot of your competitors.
You can use Google Trends for this purpose as well, or the Keyword Planner if you also have a Google Ads account (though if you don’t, you can set it up in just a few minutes). These tools can provide more information on what your potential audience is typing when looking for particular topics, as well as how popular or on the rise these keywords are.
Side note: should you integrate the exact keyword?
You may have heard about LSI keywords, a highly disputed type of keyword Google sees as semantically-related to a topic. Now, we know what Google’s position on this keyword is – that it doesn’t exist. While the topic of LSI keywords is pretty complex and deserves its own blog post one day, but the gist of it is this:
- Google does not use LSI technology, meaning the search engine might not be that good at distinguishing between polysemic words (those that are written the same but have different meanings in context), or a master at synonyms, but it can recognize semantically-related keywords.
So when you write a blog post about cars, the idea isn’t to use the word car as many types as you can. It’s also not great to think up of car synonyms and cram them into the content either.
The winning strategy is to adopt semantically related keywords because they make sense within the context of the blog posts. It’s easy to see how an article about cars could include systematically-related keywords like “Toyota”, “car dealerships”, ” car repair shops” naturally, so as long as you focus on the blog post making sense, you’ll be likely including these keywords without trying.
3. Think of Where You Add These Keywords
User experience is a big priority for Google, so it will not only look for keyword matches when ranking web pages.
How the content is organised within the page also matters. A lot.
A blog post of 2000+ words, no pictures, subheadings, and very big paragraphs does not provide a good user experience. People will likely not try to follow along with the text, even if the information provided is relevant.
Instead, your content should look something like this:
- Image or videos
This helps the user follow along with the article with no problems, but it also gives you a good opportunity for keyword placement. Add your valuable keywords in the titles and headings, as well as the paragraphs of your blog post. This helps search engine crawlers understand your content better since although they can’t read per se, they can follow the structure of the posts.
Remember to add these keywords naturally, since real-life humans will end up reading these words. Placing a lot of keywords just to tick a few SEO boxes is considered keyword stuffing, and Google really frowns upon this practice.
4. Take Care of Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions aren’t visible on the page, but they do matter. Your meta descriptions will be the small preview the user gets on the search result, which may end up being the reason they choose to click on your link. Or not.
Meta descriptions are ways to reinforce the notion that your content is relevant to the user query, which is why you should add your valuable keywords here as well. If your main keyword is “best SEO tips beginners”, that keyword needs to be included in the meta description.
The user searches for the topic gets a list of webpages and proceeds to read these meta descriptions to see which result best matches their intent. Having their exact keyword in your description ensures them your article does, and you just may get a boost in search traffic!
5. Adopt Link Building Strategies
Links are essential to your content marketing strategy, and there are three main types to focus on:
- Internal links – links that link to other pages on your website
- Outbound links – also called external links, that link to other websites
- Inbound links – links on other websites that link to yours.
Having a link building strategy helps you in several ways, depending on the type of link you have.
Internal links, for instance, are considered navigational tools that help users go from one relevant page to the next. You have an anchor text in one of your articles that tell users they can read another relevant content piece on another part of your website. This practice also increases the amount of time your users will spend on your site.
Web crawlers need internal links too. If you have a page on your site that is not linked to any other, then the web crawler can’t reach it, so it will not be indexed. In fact, it’s almost like it doesn’t exist from the web crawler’s perspective.
Outbound links are usually great for reinforcing your content and ideas. When you make a claim, it pays to insert a link to a high-authority website and back it up. Users then know you can be trusted, that you’ve done your research. These two are the easiest types of links to build.
With inbound links, however, it’s a different matter. So you want high authority websites to link to yours for a lot of reasons, but the most important one has to do with Google. The more of these essential links you have, the better, more authoritative your website looks, right? It’s like a vote of confidence received from someone who’s at the top of their game, and search engines will reward you with a better position in the search results.
But building these links takes time. A lot of time. Here are some ways to make them happen:
- Just be good – if you provide high-quality content and become a voice of authority in your industry, these links will happen naturally. As you may imagine, this is the strategy that takes the most time;
- Partner with other websites – it’s not uncommon for websites to exchange links. Think of websites that aren’t necessarily your competitors, but activate in the same ballpark and propose a partnership;
- Guest posts – become a voice of authority by posting content on other people’s blog.
Over to You
A good content marketing strategy has the potential of getting you a better rank in the result page, but if you need help perfecting yours, we’re here to lend a hand.
Schedule your free 30-minute strategy session with Australian Internet Advertising now to find out more about what your next steps should be.